People who let their dogs sleep in their bed are happier, according to science

Witnessing your dog first thing in the morning is an unparalleled delight.

Authored by Jody Coffey
When it comes to allowing your furry family member to share your bed, where do you stand? Are you enthusiastically supportive, staunchly opposed, or undecided?

Many households have valid reasons for not co-sleeping with their dogs, ranging from allergy concerns and disrupted sleep to various other factors. I'm not here to change your mind if you have your reasons against it.

However, for those who long for their canine companions at bedtime, scientific research offers some compelling reasons to consider this practice. A study conducted by Sleep Review revealed that individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experienced fewer nightmares when sleeping with a dog.

Having your pet by your side during sleep triggers the release of oxytocin in the brain. This "feel-good" chemical not only reduces anxiety and stress but also promotes theta brainwaves associated with REM sleep, leading to a deeper and more restorative slumber and improved physical health.

Oxytocin, often dubbed the 'love chemical,' and serotonin levels increase when we spend time with dogs, offering a natural way to combat depression. Sharing your bed with your fluffy companion can also provide mental benefits, fostering a sense of security and contentment. Research indicates that women experience improved sleep quality when their pets share their beds.

Owning a dog not only alleviates feelings of loneliness but also enhances companionship. According to a study, 41% of pet owners reported an increased sense of companionship when sleeping alongside their pets.

While the benefits of co-sleeping with your dog are remarkable, there are circumstances where it might not be advisable. These include severe allergies, health issues in either you or your dog that could be aggravated, light sleeping habits, a dog that isn't house-trained, or if you are in the process of crate-training your dog.

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